This last week has been a tough one for me. While I try not to share too many personal details as I’m not sure I want my employers and acquaintances to know all about my marriage and thoughts, I do try to be real enough and get relief from my day to day personal pressures in what has become a cathartic experience [blogging, in essence an on-line journal of sorts]. However, I don’t think the likelihood of 500 or so semi-regular readers knowing me in real life is really that great, so I’ll share some personal stuff I’m dealing with this week.
First off, I like when bloggers get into the dirty parts of their own lives. It comes off a little high-and-mighty when they’re just spouting opinions and awesome stories without the vulnerability that comes along with real life. Danny from the 504, Red Pill Wifery are some that show the yin/yang about life and are raw at times. While I do like Krauser, Roissy and Roosh, it does seem like things are painted in a way where they are on a mountain waxing poetic to us masses down below. I like to think that, I too, let my vulnerabilities come through while showing the wisdom acquired through my experiences, but I’m guessing I come off as a holier-than-though at times. This is one of the raw posts showing that shit happens to all of us.
First, my brother is now in rehab, almost dying from liver failure this week due to excessive drinking. I’m not that close to him anymore, primarily due to this issue and my inability to deal with his alcoholism. I compartmentalize this part of who my brother is and can’t respect the person he has become. This is the man who was the best man in my wedding and who I know has the ability to be an awesome person again. But for the last (at least) 5 years, he has been a depressed shell of the person I knew. He almost died late in 2012 and has continued to drink a liter of alcohol per day to the point that his body was ready to shut down. He’s in a 30-day program, which my dad also went through over 20 years ago (and remained sober), and I’ve been sending him as many messages as I ever have that this HAS to happen. I even told him that if he failed (again), he would die (which my mom has also told him), and went so far to tell him if he drank again (soon) and died, it was unlikely his 3-year old son would even remember him. I’ll support him in my own way, but the man has responsibility issues and has the victim mentality. Hope he pulls through, but some of his friends and family are betting against him….I still believe he’ll persevere though. We’ll see. If he does make it through, and slays his demons, I fully expect him to find an alternative source of inspiration come out of the throws of obesity and become a productive member of society once again (dude hasn’t held a job for very long over the last couple of years, blame economy, or blame alcoholism not sure). I am an optimist, like I said, we’ll see.
The other part of my week….I get this e-mail on Friday from Holly: “I just got let go. cleaning out my desk. won’t have a phone so…will probably drive over by you in a bit.”
I see her shortly thereafter, as we hug and she describes her Friday morning. It wasn’t a total blind-side as her radar was “up” (some things didn’t feel right at work), but it was still surprising and left us a little out-of-sorts. However, I’m a fucking rock and Holly is a fucking oak in her own right, and while her ego was bruised, it wasn’t the end of the world. She was with this company for under two years, did what she was capable of doing, so far that she got signed contracts her last week, but, alas, it wasn’t enough. The small company, that is owned by people in or near retirement, is a little short-sighted in their business approach and has made some questionable decisions over the years (even prior to Holly’s involvement). The environment she worked in didn’t fit with her own ideals and she was already interviewing and exploring other options. She’s an awesome employee with a lot of skills that cross over to varying industries, so their “loss” is someone else’s gain. I don’t expect her to be without a job for long.
I have to say, the bond between us that has strengthened over the last few years, and makes this seem like almost a trivial matter. So much so that we were laughing at the company’s folly, having a few adult beverages and having some much needed “relief” later that night. Eckhart Tolle, in one of my favorite books The Power of Now, describes that when ducks (yeah, fucking ducks right?) get into a fight, and the fight is over, they flap and shake out their wings to relieve the pent up anxiety and stress and emotional burden the fighting has made happen. For us humans, I think sex is similar. Sometime our emotions and thoughts are a total mixed bag: anger, frustration, grief, guilt, maybe even relief. Ian Underwood had a great recent post on this, dealing with grief as the subtext, but the thought still applies. It somehow is a coping mechanism for these raw emotions and can release stress and resets the body to deal with it in more rationale terms (my thoughts at least).
While I know about personal finances and consumer issues, I’m reluctant to talk about them too frequently, however, this is a brief encounter into this arena. In the last year and a half, our financial house has finally (after much hard work), gotten into shape. We were able to accumulate an emergency fund of savings and our monthly situation is pretty good especially given unemployment income, and emergency savings give us another level of security. I broke things down today, adjusted some expenditures and things and we’ll be in pretty good shape despite the job loss.
One of the things Holly has mentioned she felt she was missing out on, as a working mother, was the anti-feminist idea of being a part-time (or in the temporary, a no-time) worker, and a mom first. Though we fully expect her to again be gainfully employed, as long as she’s not, she’ll be able to meet the kids at the bus-stop, keep a nice house, make us meals (I came home Friday – the day she got fired, to a great meal of bacon cheeseburger [no bun] and sweet potato fries and clean dishes and kitchen), and generally be an awesome wife and mom in the vein of some of the red-pill women (and that’s not to insinuate that she’s not already, but we compromised to some degree to allow her to work… I took some of those roles since we both worked full time). She joked she would now be able to work out three times per day (like my bosses SAHM wife of school aged kids) and get even hotter [yowza! not sure I can control myself!]. This also allows her to pursue her side-hustle project she has that is essentially a hobby business that is fun for her (and makes a little spending cash).
To some degree, her job loss is a relief since it wasn’t something she saw herself in long-term. I fully support her and her efforts to transition into a traditional family role (temporarily) and think in many ways it will be pretty awesome. However, I don’t expect this to fully satisfy her craving to be awesome (since both kids are in school) so we’ll see how this goes if it’s any length of time. What it also shows is that if we are able to tighten up budgets, we don’t need a HUGE income from her to make the life we want. A former co-worker of mine worked on roughly the same income as me with a SAHM and five kids (I think three or four were in private school. This isn’t to say I make a lot necessarily, just an illustration of what living in the midwest will get you with tight finances and simple living). Just depends on how long you want to work until retirement, how much to save in kids college accounts and so forth.
I think that at the end of the day, things will be good. If my brother has the perseverance he’ll look back on this period of his life as the “hell” period. For my wife and I, it’s a minor speed bump in life. Make lemonade out of the lemons. As Life Of Brian says, Always Look at the Bright Side of Life! [skip ad when you can]
POST SCRIPT: So we’re only a few days in, but Holly’s positive attitude and class about the situation is nothing less than amazing, and is a testament to her as a person to keep such a grounded perspective. The fun part begins here shortly dealing with changes to insurance, applying for unemployment, and all that other fun stuff. We’re still partaking in our relatively modest spring break activities this week, then it gets “real” the week after that. Thanks to the positive thoughts from you readers out there, I really do appreciate it. On the other side, my brother is now in lockdown at the rehab center. We’re several hours away, but I hope to get up to see him during visiting hours maybe next weekend and will send him a letter or three. If anyone has gone through this with a friend or family member, any advice would be appreciated. My father actually went through this when I was maybe 12 or 13, and has stayed sober since then, but I was fairly young and don’t recall a whole lot of the rehab process except we got to see him once a week or so. I’m hoping my brother locks on to my fathers success as a beacon in the night and stays the course. I know he’s struggling right now.